HALLANDALE BEACH, FL, November 17, 2023 – Some action prior to the annual glut of Thanksgiving weekend racing, which includes this week’s opening of the Fair Grounds and Wednesday’s Tampa Bay Downs 2023-24 racing seasons, with Gulfstream’s championship season not far behind, DEC 1 to be precise.
We’re sticking close to home, that is to say the East and Midwest, and look at some interesting spots at Aqueduct, Churchill and the aforementioned Gulfstream, where the new turf course will debut to coincide with prime meet opener.
To the Midwest we go for some down and dirty selections:
PRELIMINARY ALLOWANCES Race 5
MOST PROBABLE WINNER [MPW]: 2-Double Clutch (5-2) improved when turned back into sprint, has some tactical speed, can kick, game placing in last despite rough trip.
BEST VALUE [BV]: 5-Straight and Level (8-1) will likely be half the price or less ante post. Good figures, moving forward while breaking maiden in KD turf debut.
TOTE BUSTER EXOTIC [TBX]: 11-Foxtrotanna (12-1) is dropping from a Grade 2 and has high early speed. Blinkers off and switch to Saez augurs well for low percentage barn that does well with grass runners.
OPTIONAL ALLOWANCES Race 9
MPW: 6-Strong Quality (5-2) has improved on turf, owns controlling speed and dropping from series of stakes, two of which were Grade 1 and last win was with Geroux in the boot.
BV: 12-Street Ready (10-1) working bullets following recent Maker claim and switches to Tyler; likely will be half the price ante post.*
TBX: 2-Johny’s Fireball (9-2) has been consistent since Norm Casse’s claim; 1-fir-1 over course and 2-for-2 at the trip; well posted with Saez on the re-ride.*
*updated changes 4:53 on 111723
Grade 3 CHILUKKI STAKES Race 10
MPW: 9-Hot And Sultry (7-2) in a wide, wide open event taking a sizable class drop from Grade 1s, has excellent early speed, has won at the trip, well drawn outside, brilliant workline and is 1-for-1 beneath Tyler.
BV: 1-Nostalgic (9-2) is much improved at 4, fitting the Mott patience profile, is fastest on the Thoro-Graph scale, exits a strongly run mile and a winner at the G3 level.
TBX: 5-She Can’t Sing (8-1) won this last year and looks to repeat in her racing swan song.
NOTEBOOK STAKES Race 4
MPV: 3-Angelos the Great (2-1) broke maiden under exact scenario three back; uber conditioned turning back, reuniting with Franco.
BV: 6-Works For Me (5-2) is back on dirt, back with state-breds and attracts Irad.
XTB: 7-Perliano (10-1) has moved forward in all career starts,, improved big time with blinkers; trainer profitable with non-graded stakes runners.
G2 HILL PRINCE (1-1) Race 5
MPW: 4-Integration (1-1) is 2-for-2 lifetime, fast on the Thoro-Graph scale, good energy distribution and has won at 9 furlongs.
BV: 5-Faraday (10-1) is 2-for-2 since adding blinkers ad working purposefully for stakes debut.
XTB: 8-I’m Very Busy (6-1) continues to march forward and has shown an affinity for this course.
AQUEDUCT TURF SPRINT CHAMPIONSHIP Race 9
MPW: 4-Our Shot (5-2) exits series of fast races and was game second in a Keeneland G2 last out, now gets Irad.
BV: 11-Thin White Duke (5-1) never fails to fire, two wins on this course and reuniting with winning partner Lezcano.
XTB: 12-Dancing Buck (10-1) loves this course, speedy stalker gets Carmouche and trainer is profitable in LAY-3 scenarios.
this is a live column and will be updated throughout the weekend